A great Personal Statement final draft cannot be written in one sitting.
You log into the Common Application—known as the Common App, the only way to apply for hundreds of schools—but the website is giving you timeouts. You have no idea whether your school has an essay supplement, and it’s not accepting your form of payment.
And if you’re thinking of just throwing in the towel and mailing your application the old-fashioned way, don’t even bother—most schools don’t even accept paper applications anymore. It’s reality for thousands of high school seniors who are applying to college this year after the Common App rolled out a new version, which has caused hair-raising problems for students applying to the 517 member universities that use the application.
Their experiences reveal a common aspiration, a moral imperative to make a difference.
There are precious few hours to go before your early decision college application is due.
“It’s really made me appreciate how simple the Common App was last year, although I think students for the most part now accept it …
There’s no need for this class—the graduating class of 2014—to be guinea pigs of this new Common App.”Smitobol said beyond the major technical problems of not being able to correctly hit submit, he saw some troubling mistakes within the Common App itself.
As of Tuesday, 67,000 application submissions and 150,000 school form submissions in a single day.“This week we have put some solutions in place that have dramatically cut down on the number of people experiencing these issues,” Anderson said.
Additionally, the Common App has begun staffing the help line 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to its Facebook page, where the company has been updating daily about the status of the Common App. But one of the key problems is that the issues are pretty dynamic, and not the same for every applicant—resulting in thousands of stressed-out of kids.“It’s a really stressful for them,” said Nat Smitobol, a college admissions counselor with Ivy Wise, an educational consulting company based in New York.
For instance, students are asked about their ethnicity, and asked an optional question about classifying their race—but Hispanic is not included in there.
As a result, nervous high school seniors are answering white just to classify themselves as something, meaning their applications could be processed differently.